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Thread: how to get better letdown without baby there?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    13

    Default how to get better letdown without baby there?

    so, my baby is only 12 days old, but I'm trying to get the pump worked out and build a freezer stash because I know I'll be going back to work full-time working 4 10-hour days starting late in January.

    I was unable to get more than a tiny amount from pumping despite having a good pump ( Medela pump in style). then I tried pumping one breast while I fed him on the other, and that has worked well. I can get 2 1/2 to 3 oz at a time from just the one breast this way, so I do this for 2 feedings a day and my freezer stock is growing. I do massage the breast as I pump. I need to wait for the smaller breast shields I ordered to come-- no one carries the small size in store :P at least not that I could find. I may get better results once I have breast shields that fit better.

    I tried double pumping when he wasn't eating again the other day, and was able to get only 2 oz combined from both breasts. It was also much thinner because it was all foremilk.

    Just looking for advice on how to get better letdown to the pump alone. Once I go back to work, I won't be able to use his nursing to stimulate letdown. Other than looking at a picture of him and maybe recording his "hungry" cry, I need ideas of how to better be able to empty each breast by pumping.

    I might be able to keep up enough supply volume-wise just pumping, but my biggest concern is the quality since it's all foremilk when I double-pump and fail to empty the breast.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by @llli*dragoness; December 8th, 2009 at 10:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: how to get better letdown without baby there?

    When you are away from your baby you will be making the milk that your body is used to providing him - but he won't be nursing, so you'll be able to pump more.

    I think you need to watch out with the pumping right now. I did exactly what you are doing and was so impressed with how much came out while she was nursing that I threw my body into oversupply. That was no fun. All she was getting was foremilk. I understand the desire to get a freezer stash going, just be careful

    Getting two ounces out total is very normal if you have been nursing on demand all day. If you want to start getting more, set a regular pumping time and always pump at that time. Or you could pump every time after your baby nurses. You can keep pumping while your baby is nursing too, but I would only do it once a day and at the same time every day - that way you can be sure that even if you create a little bit of oversupply, it's ok because you are regularly taking it out.

    Have you tried doing compressions while you are pumping? That is how I do it and I get a lot more out that way - just squeezing the ladies while pumping...

    Here's a link on normal amounts of milk to express:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/p..._decrease.html
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: how to get better letdown without baby there?

    When I was double-pumping the other day, it was to replace a feeding I'd missed while out Christmas shopping-- I had plenty of milk in there and still felt too full when I gave up on trying to get more. I've been leaving him at home for this kind of trip because of flu season and swine flu. His dad had fed him while I was gone from the freezer.

    My biggest concern is not so much that I'm not getting a large amount, mostly that I seem to be unable to effectively empty the breast without him there to stimulate letdown.

    I'm trying not to go too overboard with the pumping at this stage--- but I do want plenty of time to work the kinks out before I actually return to work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: how to get better letdown without baby there?

    My LC recommended a quick shoulder massage and/or heating blanket. You can also rub up and down a doorway (faster let down).

    For increased supply, she recommended alternating between double pumping and one at a time.

    The best advice for me was pumping every 1-2 hrs for 1-2 days (even at night) even if it's only for 5 minutes at a time. I went from drops at 2 weeks to using 50 freezer bags with 4-5oz in each by 8 weeks. I actually ended up with a huge oversupply and was able to fix that by not pumping during one or two missed feedings. Now, I'm able to feed baby and pump one or two times a day and get about 4 oz at each pumping.

    Good luck to you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,562

    Default Re: how to get better letdown without baby there?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*dragoness View Post
    When I was double-pumping the other day, it was to replace a feeding I'd missed while out Christmas shopping-- I had plenty of milk in there and still felt too full when I gave up on trying to get more. I've been leaving him at home for this kind of trip because of flu season and swine flu. His dad had fed him while I was gone from the freezer.

    My biggest concern is not so much that I'm not getting a large amount, mostly that I seem to be unable to effectively empty the breast without him there to stimulate letdown.

    I'm trying not to go too overboard with the pumping at this stage--- but I do want plenty of time to work the kinks out before I actually return to work.
    Do you think you have the wrong size flanges?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: how to get better letdown without baby there?

    the flanges I have are the 24 mm that came with the pump. According to the pictures in the manual, they're a little too big.

    I ordered the smaller size but they won't be here until Friday or Saturday at the earliest.

    hopefully all it will take is my breasts getting used to letting down to the pump!

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